March, 1963. Winter has launched its final assault on Montreal. The Fat Woman, Thérèse, Édouard, Pierrette, Marcel, all the star-crossed characters of Tremblay’s Chronicles of Plateau Mont-Royal are here again, 20 years later. Marcel, now 23, learns that his Auntie Nana?The Fat Woman who is here finally named?is gravely ill and her days are numbered. How will he, with his exaggerated sensitivity, his visions, his ongoing struggle with “reality” pit his fertile imagination against this inexorable march of death? In five epiphanic visions that take us from a nineteenth-century London pub to a reworking of Michelangelo’s Last Judgement, Marcel uses his gift of the creative imagination to break the eternal spiral of new beginnings, and to thumb his nose at despair and resignation.
Presented here, side by side, is Tremblay’s fictionalized account of the death of his own mother, so lovingly enacted in his new play, For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again. In what becomes a coda to his great Chronicles of the Plateau Mont-Royal cycle of novels, Tremblay creates, with grace and tenderness, a redemption and transcendent grandeur for these familiar and beloved characters: A Thing of Beauty.
One of the most produced and the most prominent playwrights in the history of Canadian theatre, Michel Tremblay has received countless prestigious honours and accolades. His dramatic, literary and autobiographical works have long enjoyed remarkable international popularity, including translations of his plays that have achieved huge success in Europe, the Americas and the Middle East.
Awards and Recognition
Prix du Grand (2009) La Traversée de la ville (Leméac Editeur Inc.)
Blue Metropolis International Literary Grand Prix (2006)
Globe and Mail Top 100 Books (2003) Birth of a Bookworm
Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play (2000) For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again
Chalmers Awards (1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1978, 1986, 1989, 2000)
Governor General’s Performing Arts Award (1999)
Molson Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts (1994)
Louis-Hémon Prize (1994)
Montreal Book Fair Grand Public Prize (1994)
Banff Centre National Award (1992)
Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of France (1991)
Chevalier of the Order of Quebec (1990)
San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Festival Long-Standing Public Service Award (1989)
CBC Anik Prize (1988)
Athanase-David Lifetime Achievement Prize (1988)
Quebec-Paris Prize (1985)
Chevalier of Arts and Letters of France (1984).
Born in Saskatchewan, Sheila Fischman is a member of the Order of Canada and has a doctorate from the University of Waterloo.
A two-time Governor General’s Award winner, Fischman has translated from French to English more than a hundred novels by such prominent Quebec writers as Michel Tremblay, Jacques Poulin, Anne Hébert, François Gravel, Marie-Claire Blais and Roch Carrier.
In 2008, Fischman was awarded the prestigious Molson Prize for her outstanding contributions to Canadian literature.